Performance of Panchari Melam
This art form is performed almost in every temple festival in central Kerala. Panchari is traditionally performed with a slight regional difference in north (Malabar) and south-central Kerala (Kochi). Panchari Melam is performed in its elaborate form and in sketchy form. However in both these ways, it is performed within the temple precincts only. It starts at the main entrance of the temple and proceeds to the inner part of the temple circling the shrine clockwise while playing. This art has five stages, each of them based on beats totaling 96, 48, 24, 12 and 6 respectively.
Panchari Melam is performed during temple festivals in and around the district of Trissur in Kerala. It is held at Irinjalakuda Koodalmanikyam Temple and at Thripunithura Sree Poornathrayeesa temple in Ernakulam District. It is said to be the longest and best Panchari. Panchari Melam is also performed at Araatupuzha temple in Thrissur, Peruvanam and Kuttenallur. Ollur Edakkunni, Kuttanelloor, Thaikkattussery, Chakkam Kulangara, Cherpu Bhagavati, Chatthakkudam, Kadalassery, Peruvanam, Araattupuzha, Thriprayar, Irinjalakkuda, Pothani, Chelurkavu, Avitathur, Ayankavu and Kodunthirapully Mahanavami Navarathri are some other spots where this art form is executed.
Masters of Panchari Melam
Some of the notable masters of this art form are Thrippekulam Achutha Marar, Madathil Narayanan Kutty Marar, Peruvanam Kuttan Marar, Cheranallore Shankarankutty Marar, Peruvanam Satheesan Marar, Karimpuzha Gopi Poduval, Mattannur Sankarankutty Marar, Kelath Aravindan, Cherussery Kuttan Marar, Pazhuvil Ragu Marar, Kelath Prabhakaran Marar, Tiruvalla Radhakrishnan, Kanhangad Muraleedhara Marar, Payyavoor Narayana Marar, Chowalloor Mohanan, Guruvayoor Haridas, RLV Mahesh, Chittannur Madhusoodhanan Marar, Peruvanam Prakashan Marar, Chendamangalam Unnikrishna Marar and Kalamandalam Sivadasan, Cherussery Sreekumar Marar.
Panchari Melam masters who belong to the earlier period include Peruvanam Appu Marar, Chakkamkulam Appu Marar, Karimpuzha Rama Poduval, Mulangunnathukavu Appukutta Kurup, Pandarathil Murali and many more to be mentioned.